Friday, April 1, 2016

Our Crazy Spring Break

What an incredible week! It started off scary and came full circle to a steady place of hope. My Father had emergency brain surgery last week which revealed that a fungus was growing on his brain. At first, the doctors were very concerned about how they were going to treat the fungus and whether my father would make it through this crisis. We rushed up to Washington, DC, to see how we could help. By the end of this week, they had a plan on how to treat the fungus and how to stop treatment of his cancer. It is really too much for his body to take both treatments at the same time. Luckily, the results of his cancer blood work showed that they could suspend treatment for a few months, so they will be treating only the fungus problem for now. Thank you all for your continued prayers.

Several people questioned my desire to have my children present on this trip and even spending hours in the hospital room with Grandpa. In my opinion, there was nowhere more important for them to be this week. This is REAL life. There are real hardships in life. We must all learn to deal with them. How much better to learn to deal with them when you have the loving support of family around you to help guide you through such challenges. This is one of the primary reasons I homeschool. My children are learning REAL life lessons which they will carry into adulthood. I hope that these lessons will ease some of the difficulties that they will go through someday.
Grandma Sue, Grandpa and Anne
When we weren't at the hospital, I tried to find places for the kids that were educational and unrestricted -- in other words, where they didn't have to be super quiet and still. We managed to do something each day. One afternoon, we explored the botanical gardens in Washington. They were very lush and green. Anne took dozens of pictures. She has an eye for taking pictures of plants.

One morning, Dean and Dad went on an adventure to the science museum with their cousins. They had a fun two hours out exploring fossilized poop, seeing gems, and looking at mummies. I took Anne to see her only girl "cousin" (she isn't a real cousin but extended family) and they had a fun time painting nails and playing with dolls.

We also made it to the Lego store and the American Girl Doll store one night. I wanted to get Anne's doll Kirsten that she got off of Ebay fixed up. Her hair was a mess. The doll hairstylist did a great job. They used all kinds of tools to deal with the doll's dry frizzy hair. Anne had a marvelous time wandering around the store and setting her dolls up for a photo shoot in all of the displays.

We saw the cherry blossom display around the Tidal Basin and drove around the nation's capital while we were going to and from the hospital. My stepmother was also with us. Because we have relatives in the area, this is my kids' seventh or eighth trip to Washington, D.C. Nonetheless, I think this was their first time seeing the cherry blossoms in bloom. We didn't get out of the car because the traffic and parking was too intense. However, we saw many blooming trees through the car windows.

Lastly, we were blessed to have Easter dinner with dear husband's sister and her family. We also had dinner on our last night in town with my aunt, uncle and cousin whom I hadn't seen in 22 years. My cousin recently moved to D.C. and my aunt and uncle were visiting her. It was lovely to see them again.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Sounds like you all made the best out of what started as a disastrous week.

  2. So happy to hear the treatment plan has been made. We continue to pray. It looks like a lovely break and visit despite the original reason for the visit.

    We never kept Amber from my dad when he was in the hospital so many times. He was in poor health when she was born and it was that way for 10 more years before his death. The grandkids would play in his rooms together because he was often in the heart hospital suites. We did keep her and the other kids out on the day of his death and when hospital regulations discouraged it (ICU).

  3. Glad your father is on the way to recovery. I grew up in DC and loved the FREE museums everywhere. Glad you took the kids. I would have. I'm visiting from weekly wrap up.

  4. You are an inspiration for maling the best of a difficult situation and for real, good parenting
    Thank you for the blessings of you sharing your life with us.

  5. You are an inspiration for maling the best of a difficult situation and for real, good parenting
    Thank you for the blessings of you sharing your life with us.

  6. I have been praying after seeing this on facebook. I am so pleased there is now a plan of care in place. I will keep praying for a quick recovery from the fungus. I love all of Ann's photos. You are right- she does have a great eye!

  7. I am continuing to pray for your dad. You truly made a trial into an adventurous journey of family memories! I would have taken my children, too :)

  8. I will add your father to my prayer list. Please keep us posted on his treatment.
    I'm so glad that you were able to go and visit him. There is nothing more valuable than family time; even if it is spent in the hospital. It is a fact of life and children must not be sheltered from it but rather learn to deal with it with patience and love. I'm so happy that you were able to spend some quality time with family that you have not seen in a while.